NEW YORK (PIX11) — Along with the child hostages being held by Hamas, there are also innocent Palestinian kids caught in the middle of the war with Israel.
An international humanitarian organization, whose US hub is based in the tri-state, is trying to ease the suffering.
Janti Soeripto’s motherly instincts led her to become the US CEO of Save The Children.
“When I hear women giving birth, c-sections without anesthesia, that does chill me as a mother,” Soeripto said.
With half the Palestinian population in Gaza children, their innocence is being lost at staggering numbers.
“No war has been started by a child, but children always bear the brunt of any war,” Soeripto noted.
She said it’s estimated over four thousand of them have been killed since October 7th, which is about one life lost every ten minutes.
“Our staff [in Gaza] tells us sometimes it’s easy to be with your family in one room because at least you die together,” Soeripto said.
The humanitarian organization is pledging over $55 million to help with everything from the necessities to infrastructure repairs.
“Right now, the situation is beyond dire,” Soeripto said.
Duaa Abdulla is from Bergen County, New Jersey. But she has over sixty close relatives still living there. Twenty have died, and the rest, she said, are waiting to die.
Thursday, Israel agreed to a daily four-hour humanitarian pause, and a safe passage south. Abdulla calls that too little, too late.
“There’s a level of emotional trauma they’re living through wondering if they’re going to die or their children are going to die first,” Abdulla said after speaking with her first cousin in Gaza every other day.
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are nearing collapse under the Israeli blockade that cut power and deliveries of food and other necessities to the territory in response to a bloody Hamas attack on Oct. 7.
Cradling her newborn baby at the Nasser Hospital, Hend Shamalakh said she has nowhere else to go to.
“I fear for my daughter, just like any mother at risk in the Gaza Strip. There is no safe place, no place to live in peace. There is no future for the children of Gaza amid this war. I wish for the war to end and for us to live in peace again,” Shamalakh said.
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.